As the Bruins and Rangers prepare for what should be a couple of weeks of intense playoff hockey, we're reminded that these two passionate sports towns have a long history of squaring off in the postseason. The Bruins, Patriots, Celtics or Red Sox have squared off against the Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, Giants (both football and baseball versions), Jets, Yankees or Mets a total of 34 times, with the cities splitting right down the middle: 17 victories each. Take a look at how the four sports break down . . .
Celtics vs. Knicks
In 1951, the New York Knicks swept the Red Auerbach-led Celtics in a best-of-three. Sixty-two years later -- a mere two weeks ago -- the Knickerbockers took down the C's in six. Overall, the two teams have met 14 times in the postseason, with each winning seven. Boston has won four of the last six.
The most famous of all . . .
The Boston/New York rivalry is, of course, defined by Red Sox vs. Yankees. The two teams have met what feels like a million times during the regular season. However, they've only had the opportunity to play three times in October and there's definitely a lot of bang for your buck here, what with the heartbreak in 2003 followed by the most dramatic comeback in sports history in 2004. The only other meeting was 1999, when the Yankees won in five games. Also, in 1986 the Red Sox (and Bill Buckner) lost in seven games to the Mets. And we all remember 1912, when the Sox defeated the New York Giants to win the World Series.
Super Bowl misery
On the football field, the Patriots have two New York rivals. Of course, the Pats' last two Super Bowl appearances have been forgettable . . . and both were against the Giants. Then there are the Jets, whom the Pats have met three times in the postseason. In 2010, they had a tough loss at home to Rex and company. But New England got the better of this matchup in 2006 and also back in 1985.
A long time coming...
The last time these teams met in the Stanley Cup playoffs was 40 years ago, in 1973, when the Rangers won in five. That was the third playoff meeting in four years between the teams, with Bobby Orr and company beating New York in 1970 and '72 en route to the Stanley Cup championship. This year will mark the tenth time the teams have met, with Boston winning six of them. The B's also have played the Islanders in the postseason, losing the only matchup in 1983.